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In 1974, three young entrepreneurial lawyers had the vision, determination and drive, to commence the legal practice known as Short Punch & Greatorix (SPG).  They were Ian Short, John Punch and Colin Greatorix.  All three were locally trained lawyers, having connections to an earlier firm dating back to the 1950s.

SPG originally practised from offices in Southport and Surfers Paradise.  Within a few short years, the firm gained a reputation as a legal practice offering exceptional services to clients in business structures, real estate transactions and finance and securities.  To augment these key practice areas, SPG offered further support to clients in areas such as litigation and succession and estate planning.

It wasn’t long before the firm grew and took on additional partners, allowing expertise to develop in more nuanced legal disciplines, including corporate law, joint ventures and trust structures, volumetric titling, body corporate law and management rights.

In 1979, the partners merged the two offices and moved to purpose built premises at land located at 120 Bundall Road, owned by them.  At that time, the Bundall Road area was a collection of cleared land, wetlands and bush vegetation.  This was a visionary and courageous step, as the area progressively thrived and grew to become a central business district within the Gold Coast.  SPG was at the centre of this critical mass of business activity.

For the next 42 years, SPG continued to grow and provide diverse and broad legal services, that were unparalleled in the City of Gold Coast.  During that time, the practice trained large numbers of Gold Coast locals, to become qualified and to practice in law and in the broader business community.

Through those years, SPG partners were instrumental in setting up and/or guiding peak industry bodies, such as Destination Gold Coast, the Australian Resident Accommodation Manager’s Association (ARAMA) and Gold Coast Development, to name a few.

In early 2022, the firm moved to its new home on Level 7, Wyndham Corporate Centre, Bundall.  This step represented the continued evolution of SPG as a leading legal service provider; moving to technologically advanced modern premises, in order to maximise the value that can be added to client’s legal needs.

We have not moved far, physically, from the premises where SPG was conceived and grew.  However, we have moved far, across the nearly 50 years since our birth, in the practice areas that we excel in, and the advanced manner in which legal services are delivered for our clients.

We pay tribute to the vision and drive of Ian Short, John Punch and Colin Greatorix.  By continuing to evolve and excel in legal services delivery through the 21st century, we honour their legacy.

COVID-19 Emergency Response Bill 2020

Wills, Enduring Powers of Attorney and Advance Health Directives

The spread of the coronavirus COVID-19 has undoubtedly touched all of us one way or another. It will come as no surprise that our Wills & Estates department have been inundated with enquiries and requests for Wills and Enduring Powers of Attorney to be prepared on an urgent basis. The recent changes to the movement of residents between the Queensland and New South Wales border, increased shutdowns and isolation restrictions have made the logistics of seeing client’s face to face even more difficult especially those who are most vulnerable to the virus.

On 22 April 2020 the Queensland Government passed the COVID-19 Emergency Response Bill 2020 as a step towards addressing the legislated requirements for estate planning documents such as Wills, Enduring Powers of Attorney and Advance Health Directives to be signed as original paper documents and witnessed by authorised people. The Bill contemplates that regulations will be made in relation to the requirements under current legislation for the physical attendance of witnesses for certain documents and to temporarily facilitate the witnessing of documents by audio-visual link.

As at today’s date those regulations have not yet been published. However, it is anticipated that the regulations will address the witnessing of signatures, certification of matters by witnesses and the verification of identity of persons signing documents.

The Cabinet Explanatory Notes suggest that the regulations will apply to Wills, Powers of Attorney including Enduring Powers of Attorney, Advance Health Directives, Statutory Declarations and Deeds and will make use of “a range of communication technologies”.

It should be noted that on 22 April 2020, the Supreme Court of Queensland published Practice Direction Number 10 of 2020, which is pertinent to the witnessing of Wills by audio-visual link. Subject to the conditions below, the Practice Direction empowers a Registrar of the Court with the Court’s power to dispense with the requirement under the Succession Act 1981 (QLD) that to execute a valid Will, the witnesses must physically be in the presence of a testator when they sign their Will.

For the Registrar to dispense with that requirement, satisfactory evidence must be produced that:-

  • the Will was drafted by a solicitor, or a solicitor is one of the witnesses or person supervising the execution of the Will;
  • the deceased intended the document to take immediate effect as their Will (or as an alteration or revocation of their Will);
  • the testator executed the Will in the presence of at least one witness by way of audio-visual link;
  • the witnesses were able to identify the document executed; and
  • the reasons for the testator being unable to execute the Will in the physical presence of two witnesses in the usual way was due to COVID-19.

At this stage, the Practice Direction only applies to Wills executed between 1 March 2020 and 30 September 2020.

While this change will be most beneficial during the pandemic, we caution our client’s against preparing their own “Coronavirus Will” and having it witnessed using their mobile phone. We strongly recommend that you contact Jasmine Rath of our Wills and Estate Department on (07) 5538 2277 if you are interested in discussing and/or updating your estate planning documents and will be sure to keep you informed as more information comes to light.

We wish you and your family all the best during this time.

Meet Our Team

Michael Webb

Michael joined SPG Lawyers in 1982 as an articled law clerk. He was admitted as a solicitor in January 1989 and has been a Partner of the firm since July 1991.

Michael’s areas of practice include:

  • Acting for franchisors and franchisees;
  • Acting for lessors and lessees in Retail and Commercial leases
  • Acting for shopping centre owners;
  • Acting for small business owners,
  • Preparation of shareholder agreements and buy sell agreements
  • Acting for parties in the sale and purchase of businesses;
  • Shopping centre sales and purchases;
  • General conveyancing;
  • Joint Ventures and Development Agreements
  • Establishment of Companies, Partnerships and Trusts

Qualifications & Memberships

  • Bachelor of Laws (QUT)
  • Completed Practice Management Course
  • Admitted Solicitor in the Supreme Court of Queensland
  • Admitted Solicitor in the High Court of Australia
  • Member of Queensland Law Society

Paul Jones

Paul practises in commercial matters with particular emphasis on

  • Specialised Corporate and Individual Structuring
  • Commercial Property and Business Acquisitions and Partnerships (specialising in Pharmacies)
  • Body Corporate and Management Rights matters
  • Commercial and Retail Leasing
  • Corporate Finance

Qualifications & Memberships

  • Bachelor of Laws (Bond University)
  • Bachelor of Commerce (Bond University)
  • Completed Practice Management Course
  • Admitted Solicitor in the Supreme Court of Queensland
  • Admitted Solicitor in the High Court of Australia
  • Member of Queensland Law Society
  • Member of Gold Coast District Law Association

Matthew Brook

Matthew joined SPG Lawyers in 2008 and is a Partner of the firm and practices in the area of property development, working with private and public developers in Queensland.

As Matthew practices in property development, he works with a range of clients in order to assist and advise them in a wide range of property matters, including:

  • Strata Title Development Projects including Mixed Use Projects, Staged Projects and Projects with Layered Arrangements;
  • Land Developments and Subdivisions;
  • Body Corporate and Community Management issues;
  • Commercial Finance (acting for Borrowers and Lenders);
  • Commercial and Retail Leasing;
  • Site acquisition and disposal;
  • Joint Ventures and Development Agreements
  • Establishment of Companies, Partnerships and Trusts

Recent matters that Matthew has been involved in include:

  • Advising on the structure of, and establishing, one of the Gold Coast’s largest layered Community Titles Schemes;
  • Advising on the structure of and assisting with all aspects of acquisition, subdivision, financing and disposal of a $150 million Community Titles Scheme project on the Gold Coast;
  • Assisting with the acquisition of a large resort that is subject to the Mixed Use Development Act, and providing advice in relation to its titling and operation arrangements;
  • Assisting with the acquisition of a number of car dealerships from a listed public company;
  • Shopping Centre establishment, acquisition and disposal.

Qualifications & Memberships

  • Admitted Solicitor in the Supreme Court of Queensland
  • Admitted Solicitor in the High Court of Australia
  • Member of Queensland Law Society

Tony O'Connor


Tony was admitted as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Queensland in 1986 and commenced employment with SPG Lawyers in 1990 in the Litigation Division and became a Partner in 1991.

Through his time with SPG Lawyers, Tony has been involved continually in the management of common law litigation through all State Courts as well as the Federal Court of Australia.

He has significant experience in a wide range of litigation matters including but not limited to the following:

  • Litigation disputes arising out of commercial transactions and insurance claims.
  • Disputes arising under deceased estates.
  • Building contract enforcement and defect rectification.
  • Personal Injury Claims connected to work accidents, motor vehicle accidents or public liability claims (Plaintiff & Defendant).
  • Hearings in the Australian Industrial Relations Commission, the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission and the Fair Work Commission.

Tony has also tracked the ever changing industrial law landscape and provided advice (predominantly to employers) in respect of Awards, Award Flexibility and Common Law Contracts.

Qualifications & Memberships

  • Admitted Solicitor of Supreme Court of Queensland
  • Admitted Solicitor of the High Court of Australia
  • Member of Queensland Law Society